Twin Cities no longer America’s gayest

The Advocate is out with its list of gayest cities, but let’s cut right to the chase: Minneapolis, you’ve been dethroned. It’s a shot in the collective heart. We love our surveys.

That’s a big story, perhaps, but bigger still is what city dethroned you. It’s Salt Lake City. Utah.


While those unfamiliar with the Beehive State are likely to conjure images of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, far-less-oppressive-than-it-used-to-be Salt Lake City has earned its queer cred. There are more than a half-dozen hot spots for men and women, including the eco-friendly nightclub Jam (JamSLC.com), though the sustainable bamboo flooring is perhaps less of a draw than the packed dance floor. The Coffee Garden (878 South 900 East) is a gathering spot for those looking for a caffeine fix, the Sundance Film Festival brings LGBT film buffs to screenings downtown, and lesbian-owned Meditrina (MeditrinaSLC.com) is a true wine bar — yes, you can get a drink in this town.

Saint Paul and Minneapolis drop to #7, even though part of the judging criteria is the existence of a WNBA team. It wasn’t Salt Lake that won the WNBA championship.


It’s technically two cities, but oh, what fun there is to be had here. The region is a draw for upper Midwestern LGBTs, and Minneapolis (pictured) topped this list in 2011 for so many reasons. These two cities can’t get enough of each other: There’s the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus (TCGMC.org), Twin Cities Pride (the 40th annual is June 23-24), and even Quorum: The Twin Cities GLBT and Allied Business Community. Sheesh, just get domestic-partnered already!

Curiously, there was no mention of Minnesota’s upcoming constitutional amendment vote on the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

Here’s what they said about us last year:


Minneapolis has become the gay magnet city of the Midwest. It makes sense: People here are no-nonsense, practical, and don’t deal well with hypocrites. This is where the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America took a historic leap forward and voted to accept gay and lesbian pastors, including the Reverend Mary Albing, the denomination’s first openly lesbian pastor. And Minnesota senator Al Franken introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act to protect LGBT youth from school bullies. But that’s not all. Minneapolis also has the very hot Mayhem rugby team (MayhemRFC.com) and a thriving bear community with events like Bob’s Bear Bash, every Wednesday night at the Saloon (SaloonMN.com).

Of course the list is baloney; Salt Lake City wasn’t even on the top 15 list last year and it’s unlikely a lot happened in a few months to warrant it rocketing past more deserving locales.

The Advocate also didn’t mention a story it reported on just last September. The hate crime in Salt Lake City:


Dane Hall, 20, was attacked by four men as he was walking home from a gay night at Club Sound early in the morning of August 27. He was beaten and kicked; his jaw was broken, several of his teeth were knocked out, and a piece of bone lodged in his brain. He says the assailants called him “fag” and other antigay slurs.

And that’s your #1 city?

There’s another city that has a biggest beef, a city that dropped off the top-15 list entirely this year: San Francisco.

The list:

1. Salt Lake City

2. Orlando, Fla.

3. Cambridge, Mass.

4. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

5. Seattle

6. Ann Arbor, Mich.

7. St. Paul and Minneapolis

8. Knoxville, Tenn.

9. Atlanta

10. Grand Rapids, Mich.

11. Little Rock, Ark.

12. Portland, Ore.

13. Austin

14. Long Beach, Calif.

15. Denver

Honorable Mentions

16. Washington, D.C.

17. New Orleans

18. San Francisco

19. Pittsburgh

20. Salem, Ore.

21. Madison, Wis.

22. Eugene, Ore.

23. Oakland, Calif.

24. Boston

25. Kansas City, Mo.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Fun piece, Bob.

    But regarding “Of course the list is baloney; Salt Lake City wasn’t even on the top 15 list last year and it’s unlikely a lot happened in a few months to warrant it rocketing past more deserving locales.”

    Our great homosexual poet and philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, perhaps said it best when he said, ” A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” :-)

    On a serious note, maybe there is a method to the madness of the list. Could it be that the authors of the piece are trying to stick it to the home of the magic underwear, where polygamy is only technically frowned upon, but other expressions of “deviant” sexuality result in beatings?

    Or perhaps the writers are lending support to those brave enough to be themselves in such a repressive environment.

  • John P II

    The criteria used is pretty funny but it’s significant that The Advocate is weighting by population. Maybe smaller metro areas are getting gayer? The gayness is spreading?